In pictures: The children of Gaza

The UN has said Israel’s nearly month-long offensive against Hamas has had a 'catastrophic and tragic impact' on children in the area.

The UN, Unicef and others have already reported on the dire impact the conflict between Israel and Hamas has had on the children of Gaza.

373 children have died in the conflict and graphic and heartbreaking images of those dead or injured have become a staple of news reports from the area.

Save the Children took out full page ads in numerous UK newspapers today listing the names of all the children that have been killed.

A UN report published yesterday said Israel’s nearly month-long offensive against Hamas had had a “catastrophic and tragic impact” on children in the area.

The UN has repeatedly warned that Gaza is on the brink of a full-blown crisis and has warned that it is struggling to cope. The UN relief and works agency says at least 270,000 people are in shelter at around 90 of their centres across Gaza.

Israeli shelling has destroyed or damaged 142 schools, 89 of which were UN run. Unicef has estimated that those children who have survived the conflict will be left with severe psychological difficulties and will require immediate psycho-social support.

The organisation believes upwards of 373,000 children with have some kind of psychological trauma and many face an “extraordinarily bleak” future.

 

Pernille Ironside, head of the field office run by the UN children’s agency in Gaza said: "How do we expect parents and caregivers to care for their children and to raise them in a positive and nurturing way when they themselves are barely functioning as humans?"

"People have lost entire strands of their family in one blow. How can a society cope with this? This is a deep, deep, deep wound,"

The numbers of children killed in the conflict is widely disputed. Some have claimed that 408 Palestinian children have been killed, comprising 31 per cent of all civilian casualties in the conflict.

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